Having a student membership is a GREAT way to introduce the next generation to your organization, and demonstrate the value of membership early on in their career. That makes it even easier to recruit them for full-time membership upon graduation!
But, what about marketing to graduates who weren’t student members? And what about organizations that don’t have student memberships at all? Here are some tips for how you can reach recent graduates no matter your industry:
1. Offer a discount on dues
Don’t make recent graduates pay full price. In this transitional time, many students are stressing out over how they’re going to pay the bills as it is - and probably don’t have a great understanding of their personal finances yet, either. A discount on dues is a great way to show them that you empathize with how difficult the transition can be. Don’t worry: once they join and see how valuable membership is, they’ll be willing to pay full price next year!
2. Promote your job search benefits - heavily
Another way to empathize is to show recent graduates just how far you’re willing to go to help them land that first job. In most (if not all) of your marketing communications to this group, talk about things like accessing your job board, resume reviews, networking opportunities, job shadowing, etc. - anything that will help them on their search to start their career.
Not only that, but see if you can get some testimonials, too. Being able to show them that these benefits are effective will make a stronger case for membership, so turn to your active members to find out who’s had success finding a job through you.
3. Set them up with a mentor upon joining
But be thoughtful about it. Your goal here isn’t to set them up with a mentor who will talk their ear off about membership. Rather, you’ll want to connect your recent graduates with a mentor who can help them more directly through this transitional time - whether that’s someone who has a similar skillset, a young professional who’s just a few years out of college, etc.
Yes, hopefully their relationship with the mentor will encourage them to engage with their membership. And giving them something of value right away will only encourage them more!
4. Plan outings just for recent graduates
Many member-based organizations have young professional programs designed specifically for members under 35 (or so). But have you considered a program or specific outings JUST for the young professionals who graduated in the last year or two? Doing so would not only generate membership interest, but it would also position your organization as a resource for students in your industry and strengthen your reputation with them over time.
In the end, it’s all about bringing your next generation of association leaders into the fold. By treating recent graduates with a little extra care, you’ll be cultivating stronger relationships for a stronger association in the future! For more on how to really engage your young professionals for the long-haul, check out our free guide!